The Four Principles of Rapid Structural Drying
Past techniques involved inserting air movers underneath the carpet, allowing the carpet to float on a cushion of air. With one air mover every 200 to 250 square feet, it was an intensive, high-electricity consuming process that took quite a while to complete as well as having to cut carpet at the seams.
Today, air movers sit on top of the carpet and face the wall at a 45-degree angle to spread the air movement around. An air mover is placed every 12 to 16 linear feet, meaning a 10-foot by 12-foot room requires four air movers where two sub-carpet units would have been used with the old system. More equipment is necessary, but they each use less electricity and complete the drying process in a much shorter time.
The key to preventing these situations is with low-grain refrigerant dehumidifiers, which remove more moisture from the air than other methods. It’s an often overlooked but essential part of rapid structural drying.
- Water Extraction – The Water Removal Phase
Removing water in its liquid state is at least 500 times more efficient than skipping this step and going straight into using air movers and dehumidifiers. Special equipment, including the Hydro-X Extreme and the Water Claw, remove water with incredible efficiency from carpet and cushion. In fact, removing carpet cushion may not even be necessary with these rapid structural drying techniques.
- Airflow – The Evaporation Phase
Once the most water possible has been physically removed, the remaining moisture is evaporated with high velocity air movers. Recently, new types of air movers have become available specifically for rapid structural drying. They provide a high volume of air movement with less energy consumption to improve efficiency.
- Dehumidification – The Balanced Evaporation Phase
As the moisture is dried out of the carpet and cushion, it doesn’t simply disappear; it evaporates and becomes water vapor in the air. Without dehumidifiers to remove this moisture from the air, other absorbent materials in the room could soak up the moisture and become damaged. The drying process would be delayed and mold growth would certainly occur.
- Temperature Control – The Temperature Maintenance Phase
Warm air between about 70 and 90 degrees Fahrenheit is ideal, especially for the first 36 to 48 hours of drying. Cooler air slows evaporation, so being warmer than 70 degrees Fahrenheit aids in the evaporation process. Overly hot air above 90 degrees Fahrenheit impedes the dehumidifiers’ effectiveness.
Depending on the season, it’s typically quite easy to keep the area within the desired temperature range because the cooling effect of moisture evaporation and the heat generated by the drying equipment balance one another. If needed, drying chambers can be used to contain the warmer temperature in the affected area.